Charts and Graphs Should Be A Daily Part Of Preschool/Prek Curriculum
While most early education programs read to the children each day, not as many incorporate charts and graphs into their daily routine. Charts and graphs are important part of mathematical literacy and can easily be incorporated into daily routines easily.
Here are some examples of how to do this in fun and creative ways that will interest children.
*Question of The Day: With a question of the day you can create a daily chart where children vote on questions that would interest them such as favorite color, favorite snack, how do you get to school, who do you think will win The World Series and much more. Children can make their pictures and each day you can graph the results in different ways. Moreover you can take pictures of the charts from question of the day and make a booklet that children can look at throughout the year and also email parents the results of the question as a conversation starter about something they did at school that day.
* Graph car races: An activity my students love is we give each hot wheels car a name. We then do races where we race the cars down ramps and graph how many wins and loses the cars get. I start off the year helping children do this but after a few weeks they learn to do it themselves
*Similar to the car race charts is graphing sports and games. You can do bowling activity and make a chart or number of pins knocked down. Outside you can play basketball and make a chart of made and missed shots using chalk
*Surveys: after having done question of the day a few weeks you can give children paper to make their own surveys where they ask their friends questions. Usually I help create the initial chart paper and questions for them but by the end of the year I let them make their own charts all by themselves for their surveys. It is also fun to let the children go into other classrooms and survey other children
*Other Simple charts to do as part of daily routines are weather charts and attendance charts where children sign in if they are at school or not.
While making the charts and graphs teachers should also be guiding children how to interpret the charts. As the year progresses you can introduce things like lie charts and line graphs to add to the mix.